The Prisons of Laos
An article in the "Insight on the News" (Jan 16, 1995 v11 n3 p18(3))
makes reference to prisoners being removed from Attopeu Province in Laos.
Prior to going any further, I would suggest opening the
Prison Markings Map and the legend; both of which will open in separate
windows. I would also suggest printing out the legend (it's condensed) and
than closing that window.
Please keep in mind that the plots on the Prison Markings map are not exact
and are approximated by using several other maps; they should come reasonably
close and do offer a very interesting perspective.
In viewing the map, you can see an almost obvious trail that could have been
used (or is still being used) for transferring prisoners; all appear to lead to
and from Hanoi, which may be a staging area of sorts. Furthermore,
if you look closely, you will notice that a line of prisons runs
north-south/south-north more or less -- and follows closely with a railroad
system...which eventually finds itself crossing the border of China.
In keeping with the philosophy of the "Quang 1205" document, I
would like to suggest the following: Prisoners who were captured in the
southern regions of Vietnam were transferred up to Hanoi through the prison
systems in Vinh Quang (19), Thanh Hoa (14), Tan Lap (10), and Chom Lai
(7). Prisoners taken in the north were transferred to Hanoi through Coc Mi
(8), Dong Vai (15), Yen Bai (12), and so on. Prisoners captured in Laos
and the western regions of Vietnam were most likely taken through Quyet Tien
(11) and other unknown prisons.
The prisoners were probably interegated at each stop during the trip north --
leaving only those who were 'interesting' to complete the entire journey to
Hanoi; those that didn't appear to have any higher-than-expected value
would remain in place. In other words, the process for categorically
weeding out "progressives, neutrals, and reactionaries" began almost
immediately following capture and was re-evaluated at each stop.
Once in Hanoi, a final determination was made (although not permanent I'm
sure) and the prisoners were farmed out to the secret prison system and/or made
their way into china via the northern route (possibly by train?).